New Descriptive Ingredient terms (INCI) on Our Labels

You may have noticed over the last few years that the way we at Aubrey list ingredients on our labels is changing.

Before we go any further, we MUST clarify one point: our natural manufacturing process and natural ingredients have NOT changed. The moisturizer you used three years ago with ingredients listed by their "common names" is every bit as natural as the one you will find on store shelves today--the main difference in in the labeling.

As Aubrey Organics has grown, we have moved into markets outside of the United States. We have thus found it necessary to adjust the manner in which our ingredients are listed on our labels.

INCI, or International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients, is a collaboration between the U.S. Cosmetics, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (now PCPC) and the European Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association. The goal: to establish a uniform, science-based method of ingredients labeling that increases consumer understanding, eliminates language barriers and helps resolve international trade issues. This format (INCI) is the standardized international format for listing ingredients on cosmetic and personal care products.

In 2007 we began using INCI labels (see below) in the USA for the first time. We have been converting the remainder of our product labels since then. We had been using INCI in international markets for quite some time before that.

An FDA-sanctioned version of INCI first appeared in the U.S. in 1973. By 1993, the European Union had adopted INCI as their regulatory standard, and since 2000, many more countries—from Argentina to Thailand to Japan—have also adopted INCI labeling.

INCI terminology is based on an ingredient’s scientific name, which is often Latin-based. Of course, we know there are obvious advantages to using English “common names” on our labels. But as the U.S. becomes more multi-cultural and Aubrey expands worldwide, we recognize the need for a standardized labeling system.

Below are some examples of “common name” ingredients, and their INCI counterparts.

Wheat Germ Oil    Triticum vulgare germ oil
Natural Grain Alcohol    Alcohol denat. (38b, organic lavender)
Vinegar    Acetic acid
Witch Hazel    Hamamelis virginiana extract
Sea Buckthorn Oil   Hippophae rhamnoides oil
Hops Extract    Humulus lupulus extract

Thus, you will notice that the labels look longer and a little scary. As a comparison, if you took a common apple found on your local store shelf (organic we hope), and broke it out into its individual components in order to convert it to an INCI label, the ingredients list would be very long and would look something like this (please see the link below):
It is still the same apple... just with a complicated, scary (INCI type) label. Imagine if all food products required INCI labeling!

As with most transitions, we expect many questions. To help provide some answers, we've added a Dictionary of INCI Terms to our website, along with our Natural Ingredients Dictionary of Common Terms. Please feel free to use both to look up any ingredients you are unfamiliar with. As consumers become better acquainted with the INCI format, we believe Aubrey’s clean, natural formulations will stand out even more against competing brands.